turning the world upside down through information and



  1. SPIRITUAL EMPHASIS WEEK 2013 C A L V A R Y B I B L E C O L L E G E: S H I L L O N G A PAPER PRESENTATION O N TURNING THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN THROUGH INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY - Pastor C. Malsawmzela INTRODUCTION : As the world is developing its technology, it provides us different kinds of useful equipment. These developments of technology extend the domain of business which presents the worldwide trading called ‘Globalization’. This Globalization does not end itself in business circle only, it further extend its realm to different areas and penetrate into our culture. And it use media as its instrument, where mobile phone, computer and internet are part and parcel. This media penetrate through our innocent culture, infiltrate the heart of our Christianity and pull us down in our Christian life. The funds that should have been used towards the spreading of the gospel have now gone to the mobile companies; the funds that should have been used for the missionaries have been gathered by the non-Christians. The Holy Spirit that used to fill the heart of the saints has now been replaced by the things that we see and hear in our day-to-day life. What is this device that conquered the world? How far this Information and Communication T echnology had affected us? How are we going to face it? Why not making use of it to turn the world upside down? As Satan, the Devil who always tries to make use of every opportunity to turn good things into bad has been defeated through the blood of Christ, his burial and resurrection, why not declaring victory through Christ? In this paper we will highlight how we the followers of Christ should make use of Information and Communication T echnology to turn the world upside down, but we will first see how these devices are affecting the world now-a- days. MEANING OF MASS MEDIA: Since, the Indian Constitution gives its citizen ‘the right to freedom of speech and expression’, media has a great impact, and therefore we need to know what media is. Mass media is the plural form of the word “Medium” which means a channel, an intervening instrument or a means for doing something. 1 The word media comes from Latin word medium. 2 According to Michael Traber, “ the mass media of communication, by definition, presuppose technical means for the production and distribution of messages .” Thus when we are talking about mass media, we refer to 1 Keval J. Kumar, Mass communication in India, (New Delhi: A.T.C., 1981), 25. 2 C. Lalnuntlinga, “Media Thil Tihtheihna” in Kristianna leh Tunlai Khawvel (Aizawl, Mizoram: C.Lalnuntlinga on behalf of christian Media Society, 2008), 102. 1

  2. SPIRITUAL EMPHASIS WEEK 2013 those mediums such as, the print media, radio, cinema and television through which information are passed on from one place to another and they have the potentiality to influence a person (s), family and society. He continues, “ mass media are in the process of creating a new cultural environment, which in part is changing our ways of seeing and perceiving reality .” 3 Its aim is communicating with multiple audiences at the same time. 4 Mass media includes T elevision, Radio, Print media, Computer (Internet), Audio Cassettes, and Video etc. Now, let us see some of the important kinds of Information and Communication T echnology in brief as follows: a) TELEVISION: The word T elevision comes from the combination of a Latin and a Greek word i.e. tele (Greek) which means ‘far’ and visio (Latin) which means ‘vision/see’, therefore its meaning is “to see far”. 5 In French it is called telematigue (which means informatics in English). 6 In the year 1926 TV was discovered by a Britisher John Logie Baired. T elevision was introduced in India on an experimental basis in Delhi on September 15, 1959. After it proved a success, entertainment and information programmes were introduced in 1965. 7 TV occupies an important place in the transfer of information from one place to another. With its ability to send and receive both audio and visual signals through satellite communications, it has a more profound influence on the people than any other mass media. 8 T elevision reaches a large group of people at the same time. Research shows that many people spend up to 80% of their leisure time in front of a TV. Thus, television provides tremendous scope for the Christian communicator to communicate the gospel to millions of people at the same time. 9 b) INTERNET: During the early 1990's, a relatively new media technology was finding acceptability among a rapidly growing number of users of the general public. This "Internet" as it was called, was a revolutionary form of 3 Lalfamkima, The Influence of Information Technology on the Mizo Society (An unpublished thesis submitted to Senate of Serampore College, 2004), 14. 4 Viggo Soggard, Media in Church and Mission Communicating the Gospel (Bangalore: TBT, 1998), 40. 5 Evan. K. Lalthazuala’s Paper Presentation on “Thianghlimna, Information T echnology atang ngatin aw niang.” 6 http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/M/media.html (21.7.2013) 7 James F . Engel, Contemporary Christian Communications (New York: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1979), 9. 8 Lalfamkima, The Influence of Information … 15. 9 Viggo Sogaard, Media in Church and Mission : Communicating the Gospel ...114 – 116. 2

  3. SPIRITUAL EMPHASIS WEEK 2013 communication, implemented by a world-wide network of computers, which provided both the "mass" public exposure of "web pages," as well as the "personal" two-way interaction of "e-mail." According to a study by the Worldwide Evangelization for Christ, it had taken 38 years for radio to reach 50 U.S. million users, and 13 years for TV to attract the same number of viewers, but the Internet's World Wide Web surpassed this number of users in only four years. 10 By the end of the century, the Web had grown to more than 300 million users worldwide, from only 300,000 users in 1990. 11 And while still evolving and improving in its technology, it has become the most phenomenal tool of communication and information the world has ever seen. The Internet has become a global town square in which the growing populations of the world gather to converse and exchange ideas. c) MOBILE PHONE: A mobile phone (also known as a cellular phone, cell phone or hand phone) is a device that can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link. In addition to telephony, modern mobile phones also support a wide variety of other services such as text messaging, MMS, e- mail, internet access, short-range wireless communications (infrared, Bluetooth), business applications, gaming and photography. Mobile phones that offer these and more general computing capabilities are referred to as smart phones. The first hand-held mobile phone was demonstrated by John F . Mitchell and Dr Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, using a handset weighing around 2.2 pounds (1 kg). In 1983, the DynaTAC 8000x was the first to be commercially available. From 1990 to 2011, worldwide mobile phone subscriptions grew from 12.4 million to over 6 billion, penetrating about 87% of the global population and reaching the bottom of the economic pyramid. 12 The United Nations reported that mobile phones have spread faster than any other technology and can improve the livelihood of the poorest people in developing countries by providing access to information in places where landlines or the Internet are not available, especially in the least developed countries. 13 IMPACT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ON THE WORLD TODAY: T echnology has brought many changes to our lives. I am sure many people can look back and see how different things were five, ten or even twenty years ago. T oday, most people have a cell phone, a computer, and television. With all of the advancements in technology, our lives have been changed at the same time. We use computers and cell phones to stay in touch with 10 https://www.wec-int.org as on 21.7.2013 11 https:// www.wikipaedia.com as on 21.7.2013 12 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone as on 8.8.2013 13 Lynn, Jonathan. "Mobile phones help lift poor out of poverty: U.N. study". Reuters . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone as on 8/8/2013 3


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